November 8, 2007 - Thursday night

At Space Gallery on Polk Street

I went to a reading/pre-launch party of, which is all about podcasts of short fiction and nonfiction. The yahoo event listing said, about the event--"think 'This American Life' meets your local writer's group, meets a huddle around the campfire. Now cross that with iTunes, your iPod and the collective power of the web."

Here's Managing Director, John Yi showing off the site. It's not as blurry on the internet, he said. I think my unsteady beer glass balancing photography made it even blurrier.

The event was catered by the nearby Leland Tea Company and their spread included by far the best cheese and crackers I've ever had at an opening. As one CCA student put it, Snackage!!! (his exclamation points)

My favorite reader was Frances Lefkowitz, who read a chapter from her memoir, How to Have Not, about growing up poor in San Francisco. It was about community and had great insights into our society, like, for instance, how the lard bucket at the Pirate store is viewed by different people in the neighborhood. Unless you live here, you won't get this....unless you read the chapter, which is on her website, It's called Saturn is the Biggest Planet on Earth and it's under Essays.

A book she loves--Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino. The premise is Marco Polo trying to locate Kubla Khan's empire and bringing back descriptions of all these cities, described in surreal poetry. The cities are all named after women and the stories are filled with contradictions. Italo Calvino, she said, is wise and he sums up human nature.

Other highlights were--above with business director and emcee, Brian Quinn--Laura Fraser, author of An Italian Affair, and Alan Black, who read a humorous piece about yoga with a Scottish accent sure to soothe the ear of any podcaster. After the readings he told me that yoga was going to put Starbucks out of business. It wakes up you, invigorates you. He did have one good thing to say about Starbucks, though--community. In the shopping malls of suburban San Diego, he said, people come together at Starbucks.

But, while some have Starbucks, others have Dublit. Leaving, shuffling out into the balmy night with the whiskey and beer dulling my senses, I felt just a little more human.

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